Pennine Waterways
Pennine Waterways
Canals of the South Pennines
By horse-drawn boat around the South Pennine Ring (3)
From Slattocks to Castlefield, "Elland" shared locks with "Rosina", the crew of which were very patient when trees or other obstacles slowed "Elland" down.

All boats passing along the newly re-opened Rochdale Canal between Failsworth and Manchester attracted crowds at bridges and locks. The fact that "Elland" was being horse-drawn added to the interest for bystanders. A big crowd gathered around Newton Heath lock.

Newton Heath
below Newton Heath Below Newton Heath, "Elland" passed three boats coming up the other way. When a horse-drawn boat passes oncoming boats, the practice is for the horse-drawn boat to keep to the towpath side.

Approaching the new footbridge at Ancoats. The bridge ramp, on the edge of the canal, formed yet another obstacle for the towline.

Lock 87 "Elland" and "Rosina" at Lock 87 on the "Rochdale Nine". The "Rochdale Nine" locks are not strictly a part of the South Pennine Ring but the crew wanted to navigate the whole of the Rochdale Canal and find a good mooring at Castlefield. Canal Street runs alongside the canal, forming part of the towpath.

Queenie enjoys a short rest and a chance to nibble the grass alongside Lock 87 in Manchester.

Castlefield "Elland" moored at Castlefield, having travelled the whole length of the Rochdale Canal. The following day, the boat doubled back up the "Rochdale Nine" and continued along the Ashton Canal to complete the circuit of the South Pennine Ring.

Among the problems that have been encountered on the journey are motor-cycle barriers through which a horse cannot pass and trees growing at the water's edge. In addition to getting in the way of the towline, the trees are likely to be damaging the canal's wash wall.

The Horseboating Society welcomes volunteers to come and help crew the boat for one or more days. Later in the summer it is intended to take two horse-drawn boats to Huddersfield for the National Waterways Festival. Anyone interested in helping can email this website for more information.

Click here to see the first part of Elland's voyage: Yorkshire.
Click here to see the second part of Elland's voyage: Rochdale.
Click here to visit the website of The Horseboating Society.

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